It’s now common to get Thai, Indian, or even Serbian food in small-plates form, but Washington’s tapas trend didn’t exist before José Andrés opened this restaurant barely more than 20 years ago.
His trio of color-drenched spots are about as well oiled as restaurant machines get, churning out hits at an astonishingly consistent clip. Every meal here should start with the brittle, tomato-topped Cristal bread. We like to mix up the old-school tapas-house fare (béchamel croquetas, garlicky shrimp) with dishes that carry the influence of Andrés’s futurist mentor, Ferran Adrià (a deconstructed gin-and-tonic dessert).
The DC location has the best cocktail list and more of the forward-thinking plates, while Crystal City offers a well-curated wine shop.
- 48-month-cured Ibérico de Bellota ham
- Garrotxa cheese with apricot jam
- Bacon-wrapped dates
- Rabbit confit with apricot purée
- Ibérico pork mini-burgers